Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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QEAS helps ensure the rebuilding of Paradise Dam

I am extremely pleased to announce the Queensland Government have made a key decision to rebuild the Paradise Dam.

The Paradise Dam is in the Bundaberg region and was opened in 2005 with a capacity of 300,000 megalitres of water. Owing to dam safety concerns the dam wall was lowered last year to maintain structural integrity resulting in significant loss of overall capacity.  The Queensland Government have now made a very good decision to rebuild the dam wall to its original height. 

QEAS was engaged by Bundaberg Regional Council, Canegrowers and Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers to conduct detailed stakeholder consultation within the Bundaberg region with irrigators, supply chain businesses, community groups, and the Council. From this work QEAS assisted in economic analysis of future water demand estimates for the Paradise Dam.

Feedback from consultation sessions indicated that Paradise Dam was a critical issue for growers in the Bundaberg Region. In general, the Paradise Dam has provided for reliability and in turn water security that has created grower certainty that has underpinned confidence to invest and employ. 

According to the views of stakeholders, the potential of Bundaberg irrigated agriculture is enormous, serving as one of Australia’s major food bowls. Conversely the permanent loss of capacity of the Paradise Dam was described as a potential “economy killer” given that it is hugely important for Bundaberg growers. 

Key analysis indicated there would be an impact on the whole of the irrigated agriculture value chain including nurseries, sugar mills, transport operators, packaging providers, ports, planting and harvesting contractors, fuel distributors, fertiliser and chemical retailers, farm machinery retailers, irrigation equipment suppliers, and accountants and insurance brokers. 

Furthermore, if these businesses are impacted their employees would be, too, leading to a reduction in expenditure across the broader community as they will no longer be spending their wages. 

The overwhelming feedback indicated the requirement for the Government to rebuild it. Analysis clearly indicated the Queensland Government’s long-term economic benefit would outweigh the short-term financial cost of rebuilding the Paradise Dam. 

We are very proud of this work and the result it has achieved for Bundaberg growers.

Redbank Power Station reopening to rely on AEAS

AEAS is very pleased to announce that we have been engaged to conduct an economic impact assessment for the reopening of the Redbank Power Station in the Hunter Valley.  The conversion of the existing Redbank Power Station to enable biomass fuel use for electricity generation is a crucially important project for both the Hunter region and New South Wales.  

AEAS will provide compelling evidence as to the importance of the project that will underpin regulator support and planning approval.  The AEAS report will demonstrate to the community and government the significant direct and indirect economic contribution of the proposed Redback Power Station reopening as well as how it will activate or enable broader economic growth as an essential energy source.

AEAS also notes that this project has very high consistency with the New South Wales and Australian Government’s move to more sustainable practices through the considerable diversion of materials from landfill that are economically, technically and environmentally repurposed in the circular economy.  

I am absolutely delighted that AEAS has been entrusted with the responsibility to deliver this outstanding piece of work.

AEAS commissioned to crunch the numbers on the Australian Gas Industry

AEAS is pleased to announce that it has been commissioned by the Australian Gas Industry Trust to analyse the employment and economic contribution of the Gas Industry Supply Chain to the Australian community. 

The importance of the Australian Gas Industry can only be fully understood when holistically considered across exploration, extraction, processing and supply to the Australian community and in turn the supply chain that supports these functions together with valuable role it plays for society and industry as an energy source for economic activity.

Decision makers are largely unaware of the considerable contribution that the entire supply chain makes to the Australian economy and employment due to an absence of accurate and timely estimates of its contribution.  The scope of this project will fill that void.  

In summary, the AEAS report will help Australians better understand the valuable contribution of the gas Industry to their community and why it should be supported. 

QEAS analysis helps deliver new incentive game changer for digital game creators

QEAS clients Crisis & Comms, Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) and Gameloft have collectively achieved an outstanding advocacy win with the announcement by the Queensland Government of a 15 per cent rebate for a Post-Production, Digital and Visual Effects (PDV) incentive scheme.

Economic impact analysis prepared by QEAS indicated that for every $1 million spent on the proposed PDV incentive: 

  • 18.8 jobs would be created; and 
  • $5.8 million in direct Queensland economic activity would be generated.

This is an excellent example of the power of evidenced based advocacy.

Through the scheme the State’s games development sector will continue to grow and no doubt the next global games developer establishing in Australia will choose Queensland as their home. 

For more information please click here

AEAS Client wins $5 million grant

AEAS is very pleased to announce that one of its key clients, the City of Newcastle, has won a maximum $5 million grant under the Remanufacture NSW Grants Program for the establishment of a new $40 million regional Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) to recycle waste glass, plastic, tyres and paper and cardboard in the Hunter Region.

AEAS was comprehensively involved in the grant’s success assisting the City of Newcastle with:

  • An Economic Need Assessment for the Materials Recovery Facility;
  • A comprehensive Market Sounding Exercise; and
  • Completion of the application for the grant.

AEAS methodology underpinning its involvement was to demonstrate the commercial, economic, social, environment and political drivers for the proposed MRF in the Hunter Region.  More specifically, key aspects included:

  • The economic demand and benefit of a MRF to the City of Newcastle and the Hunter Region; 
  • The considerable environmental benefits arising from the diversion of materials from landfill and their processing into valuable recyclable products to meet buyer specifications; and
  • Achievement of key recycling targets for both the Australian and New South Wales Governments.

The City of Newcastle is strongly committed to providing waste minimisation and recycling solutions to the community and ensuring the long-term sustainability of its waste management operations.  For this reason, AEAS is honoured to have played a key role in securing the necessary funding to see this important project get off the ground.

For further information:


QEAS launches additional banner – Australian Economic Advocacy Solutions

Dear All

I’m pleased to announce that 1 July marked the official commencement of an additional banner for Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions (QEAS) - Australian Economic Advocacy Solutions (AEAS).

QEAS is the economic consulting entity delivering services specific to Queensland based clients.  We are passionate about being a Queensland based and focused business.

AEAS is in recognition that we now have a number of important clients that engage our services from Victoria, NSW and the Northern Territory as well as national organisations operating across every state.

In addition, both businesses (QEAS and AEAS) have each now moved to a company status.  These changes enable better delivery of services to our many clients within Queensland and Australia.



Queensland Economy 2021-22: Business Update

Please see this link for our latest QEAS business update on the performance of the Queensland Economy.

As the Queensland and Australian Governments currently play the blame game on COVID-19 the key point to be made is that all of the progress that we have made, all of the progress our businesses and community have achieved (that is evidenced in this economic update) is now potentially on the line. Unquestionably we need our tiers Government to work together to pull us back from the brink.

There is an ongoing economic recovery at present in Queensland and Australia which is unquestionably a subset of our success or otherwise to the COVID-19 health crisis and lock-downs. 

Queensland businesses were increasingly confident as domestic economic recovery was recovering well that would in turn lead to jobs and investment.  This has led to increased interstate migration that in itself stimulates further economic growth. There are now signs of businesses are feeling they can increase prices and greater potential for modest wage increases.

However key issues going forward are the rapid spread of the COVID-19 delta variant and the resulting lock-downs, the vaccination rollout, continuing trade disputes and winding back of government support.

QEAS's main point is that it will take the Australian and Queensland Government's working well and competently together to keep this economic recovery underway.  Fingers crossed they can and COVID-19 and its restrictions and lock downs are progressively seen in the rearview mirror. 

QEAS Business Update: Queensland Budget 2021-22

The Hon Cameron Dick’s second Queensland Budget as Treasurer is all about managing the tension that exists between keeping the COVID-19 economic recovery underway but inevitably casting an eye to the future and addressing underlying issues such as getting the budget back into surplus and getting our State’s debt back under control.

The key point to note from the 2021-22 State Budget is that the level of negative economic impact from COVID-19 has not been as great as anticipated and accordingly the revenue side of the budget is much better than anticipated. This has positive impacts on results in multiple areas.

The Queensland Budget deficit for 2020-21 was revised upwards with the deficit now only expected to be $3.8 billion (was $8.6 billion) and is based on better than expected revenue. The deficit for 2021-22 is projected to be $3.5 billion with recovering revenue hoped to deliver a small surplus by 2024-25 of $153 million.

Public sector debt will continue to grow from $95.8 billion in 2020-21 to $127.4 billion in 2024-25. However this is approximately $7 billion lower than forecast in the last budget and also reflects better revenue across the forward estimates.

The $52.2 billion infrastructure spend over 4 years announced in this year’s budget compares to a $56 billion announcement in last year's budget. Infrastructure spend as a percentage of gross state product now peaks at 2.9 per cent and not 3.1 per cent. This compares to the decade average of 3.0 per cent and accordingly there is room for improvement on this indicator.

Queensland's economy continues to impress. GSP growth for 2020-21 is revised up from 0.25 per cent to 3.25 per cent and then 2.75 per cent across next 4 years. Unemployment rate is revised down from 7.5 per cent to 6.25 per cent in 2020-21 and then 5.75 per cent in 2021-22. Population growth is anticipated to be grow at a rate above 1 per cent despite international border restrictions largely thanks to strong interstate migration.

With a vaccine roll-out now underway and light slowly starting to appear at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel we will need to inevitably transition to focusing on getting the budget back into surplus and paying down debt. 

This budget does not achieve this until the outer years of the forward estimates - nor should it. However the budget position's gradual improvement in the next several years is entirety thanks to revenue growth and not substantial expenditure restraint. This continues to expose the budget to significant risk.

This will in all likelihood be the last budget that we can forgive the Queensland Government for poor fiscal and economic results due to the extraordinary circumstances related to COVID-19. To this end, this budget essentially represents the line in the sand.

A full QEAS update can be found here




QEAS analysis opens door for discussions on cane farm rates

QEAS was recently commissioned by CANEGROWERS to examine rating practices by councils impacting on cane farms across Queensland.  The report is designed to allow cane farmers to determine whether they are being treated fairly by their local Council. The report serves as the factual evidence behind rating practices. A copy of the CANEGROWERS media release is provided below.

A new analysis of the way sugarcane farms have fared when Queensland councils set their rates will inform important conversations between CANEGROWERS offices and local government.

“We looked closely at 13 councils with a sizeable sugarcane farming industry, where CANEGROWERS members underpin the local economy, the communities and up to one-in-three jobs,” CANEGROWERS CEO Dan Galligan said.

The analysis, completed by the consultancy Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions (QEAS), assessed the cane farm rate of each council along with its interplay with increasing land values and any measures to limit increases or offer discounts.

The analysis found:

  • On average the local government rate paid by a cane farm is 35% above the average residential rate indicating more reliance on cane farms to support council revenue.
  • On average council rates make up around 4% of the annual operating costs of Queensland cane farming businesses.

It concluded that:

“Most councils have a revenue and rates policy together with their own set of principles as to how rates are determined. However, there is little publicly available information explaining why a particular rate applies to a cane farm.
The resultant outcome can be rate bill shocks that can impede investment and economic growth across Queensland.
There is an opportunity to improve the way rating practices occur for cane farms across Queensland councils with a view to ensuring no adverse or unintended consequences when a land value reassessment occurs and the impact this may have on the final rate bill for each cane farm.”

“We have seen unexpected and large rates bills in some areas having a huge impact on the profitability of cane farms,” Mr Galligan said. “It is vital that increases are kept at reasonable levels. Councils have the power and discretion to cushion any shocks, so the viability of businesses is not put in jeopardy.

“It is important too that CANEGROWERS district staff and elected representatives have a clear pathway to discuss with councils their service delivery to the agricultural sector and the rates charged for those services.

“With the CANEGROWERS district office structure, we are on the ground across the state in close contact with all councils and this analysis will help inform their discussions about how rates are set.

“It will contribute to the close relationship that exists between our industry, represented by CANEGROWERS, and many of our important local councils.”

QEAS appears with LANTRAK in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court

QEAS has just finished a marathon six days in the Queensland Planning and Environment Court assisting one of our valued clients - LANTRAK.

Lantrak is a provider of  essential services to the SEQ building and construction industry providing processing, recycling and disposal infrastructure and transport services to the industry. Lantrak has played a key role in Queensland’s landmark construction projects – including the Queensland Children’s Hospital, Gateway Duplication, Kingsford Drive Upgrade, Gateway North Upgrade as well as current projects including the Cross River Rail, Queens Wharf and M1 Upgrade.

Materials handled by Lantrak are a by-product of SEQ’s continuing building and construction and economic activity. Accordingly Lantrak in enabling this economic activity to occur is an important contributor to the Queensland economy in turn creating broader employment opportunities, generating wealth and driving economic growth.  

QEAS role was to model non-putrescible materials out to 2046 and match this with available infrastructure and available landfill airspace.  In addition QEAS modelled the impact the project would have on Queensland's waste strategy resource recovery targets. 

This represents over 18 months of work for QEAS and it was such a privilege to help LANTRAK with its Material Recycling Facility and Landfill used for residual waste that is either environmentally or technically unable to be further recycled or has had the economic valuable materials extracted from it.

Photo taken outside the Queensland Planning and Environment Court on day one of proceedings.


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